Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Until Next Month...

I'm going on a blog hiatus for the next month.  February 8th I'll be back, either to start posting again or for a final post.  I'm going to spend the next month praying about my writing.  Taking a month off isn't something I really want to do, but it is something I feel the Lord has asked of me.

In the meantime, we put a Bed & Breakfast weekend on the calender for Valentine's Day weekend.  Gonna spend Thursday, Friday and Saturday enjoying our house with nothing on the calender.  This is the 3rd year we've done this.  It gives us something to look forward to and gives me motivation to declutter and get things in order around here.  We'll use gift cards we got at Christmas to go out to eat, drink good coffee in the mornings, read fun magazines and books, and light lots of candles.  The boys are so excited about it!

You know those little odds and ends jobs like the broken toilet paper holder in the bathroom?  We're trying to get this kind of stuff tended to over the next 5 weeks.

Our mattress is so sad.  It is 12 years old and blesses me with a backache each morning.  We found a 4 1/2 inch memory foam mattress topper for under $200 on Amazon that we are going to try.  I also ordered a  new set of sheets for under $30 (all 3 of our sets have huge rips in them).

In addition to blessing my home with a little extra love, I'm also trying to bless my family.  Remember the life changing gift I told you about?  The one I got for Christmas this year?  It is called EMeals.  Each week they email me a 7 day menu for the week with an itemized shopping list for the store. 

Seriously a game changer.  Last week I shopped for the first time and purchased all 7 days worth just to get an idea of how much food it would be.  It has been such a blessing to go into the kitchen each night and pull out the dinner to prepare without having to think.  Each meal includes the main dish and sides. 

We are doing the Portion Control plan which is simple and healthy.  Not having to menu plan this week has been so freeing and we've sat down at the table every night to a fantastic hot meal.  I highly recommend trying it, especially if you have little kids.  Not having to think about what to cook will be such a gift to give yourself. 

You can try 6 months for $35.  Print off the menus and shopping list and put them in a page protector.  If you like it you will have it all mapped out for you.  Use a dry erase marker in the store if you want to check off your list, it wipes right off a page protector.

So that's it in a nutshell.  I'm taking care of my house, my family, and trying to do nice things for myself every single day.  Whether it's reading a book, lighting my favorite candle, taking a bubble bath, or making an afternoon pot of coffee.  Each day I am trying to be intentional to take care of us all.

Hugs and see ya in a month.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ding Ding School's Back In Session

You can imagine my joy when my 8 year old son came up to me Saturday evening and asked if he could hop on my computer to customize a sectional.

Decorator Mama joy filled my soul.

We are taking the proceeds of our March 2nd yard sale and wanting to buy a sectional for the Man Cave.  Apparently my boy shares my joy of the search.

School is back in session.  We take off from Thanksgiving to New Year's and it is wonderful.  This holiday season we ate, rested, watched movies, played games, and enjoyed the snow.

We even took a trip to Branson the weekend before Christmas.  We took all the Christmas books that had gone unread and spent two nights in a little condo.  No T.V.  Just being intentional to spend time together, read and play games. 

There are plenty of things that went undone this Christmas season such as not looking at Christmas lights, never getting around to baking the sugar cookies, or actually doing all the cool Advent things I had gathered together.  I am learning to try to be OK with things left undone.

Back to school starting today.  I asked the boys who they knew from Louisiana.  Their response...Troy Landry?  Bruce and Kristy Lou?  Yeeeeep boys, you nailed it.

I've been on a renewed Flylady kick.  I just finished the book Sink Reflections.  It is just so practical which is why it works so well for me.  The premise is to establish a strong before bed routine and a strong morning routine. 

Before bed think about the next day.  Make sure your kitchen is tidy and pick out your clothes for the next day.  Decide what you want your evening routine to be for the babies.  We do baths and stories at 7pm and put them down at 8.  It's nice because it leaves two hours of quiet.  Lately we've been reading by the fire.

Morning.  Oh the thorn in my flesh called morning.  My intentions are so noble.  Rise early, pray for the nations, dive into the Word.  All before getting for real ready with make-up and all.  Yeah.  Like I said earlier, I'm learning to be OK with reality which is more like a quick shower, air dried hair and  no make-up.

It's something I'm grappling with.  Flylady says get for real ready everyday.  Unless I'm going somewhere I just can't get motivated to put my face on.  I'll throw on a pearl stud and that's about as good as it gets.

So we're back in the swing of routine today and it feels great.  Come back tomorrow and I'll share with you about the life changing Christmas gift I received.  I'm not even kidding.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Chicken & Dumplins

Thursday morning I woke up with a hankerin' for Chicken and Dumplins.

I can't explain it.

I've made them maybe twice in my wifely career.  But that hankerin' came on with a vengeance and I knew I must conquer or be conquered. 

You know the drill. 

Wake up with a hankerin'.

Outta my way kids, Mama's got business to tend to this morning.


Chicken & Dumplins.

Filter through all the unworthy 3 stars until you find the mothership.  Then the weight of the world falls on this one little unsuspecting recipe. 

You throw the ingredients in the crock pot (oh yeah I said it) and wait and wait and wait.  Wonderful smells of goodness fill the house all day and it makes you happy happy happy.

Then the moment of truth.  Steaming bowls filled you take your spork spoon in for the big reveal.  Ladies and gentlemen, this recipe lived up to all it's review and 5 star glory.  It.  Was.  Divine.  Comfort food at it's best.  So, from me to you, I hope you enjoy.

Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplins
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 6)
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of celery
2 cans chicken broth
2 T butter
seasoned salt & pepper
2 10oz cans refrigerator biscuits

Spray crock pot with Pam.  (I'm assuming your Mama taught you this but just in case here is your friendly reminder).

Put in frozen chicken.  Cover with soups, broth, butter, salt and pepper.  Liquid should cover all the chicken so add water if needed.  Cook on low 8 hours.  About an hour before you are ready to eat shred the chicken.  (I took the lid off and just used two forks to shred the chicken right in the crock pot).

Pinch of the biscuits and add them to the crockpot.  Cook until dumplins are not doughy, an hour or so.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Grabbed That Bull By The Horns

Man, I owned today.

I grabbed it by the horns and ran.  Shane too.  We've been putting the hurt on our house.  Attic, garage, boys closet, under the bed, you name it.

Our yard sale March 2nd and you're gonna want to come.

We're getting rid of tons of home decor, furniture, etc.  I am taking the next 6 weeks to D.O.W.N.S.I.Z.E.  You probably think all I do is declutter, and you're right.  With 5 people, if I don't stay on top of it, it piles up in a hurry.

I found out I'm a hidden clutter person.  My clutter is jam packed in closets and drawers.  My favorite motto is,
"Have nothing in your house you don't think is beautiful or know to be useful."

When I apply that rule to every single thing it is so much easier to toss, toss, toss.  Like today for example.  I got to thinking about the basket on the back of the toilet in the guest bathroom.  Who knows why the heck it is sitting there, with 2 little piddly books inside, but it looks ridiculous.  So I put it in the yard sale pile.

The boys had 24 pairs of shoes in the bottom of the closet.  Now they have a pair of flip flops, play shoes, good tennis shoes, and church shoes.  We cut it in half.   Told ya.  Owned it.

We just have too much.  Even though we have less than most because I despise clutter, we still have too much.  It feels so good to have a perfectly clean floor underneath my bed.  It wasn't crazy under there, but just a few odds and ends.  If I don't care enough to find a permanent home for something, it's getting tossed.

Oh, we have a wedding collage type thing with about 5 4x6 pics from our wedding.  I took one look at it today and you know what?  I don't love that look anymore.  It is 12 years old and dated.  So I am taking the pictures out (which I do love!) and selling the frame.  Bam.  Take that collage frame!

It is amazing how you see things with fresh eyes when it has to pass the test.
  • Do I think you're beautiful?
  • Do I know what you are used for?
You should come March 2nd.  I'm selling a lot of good stuff that I'm done with.  I already checked the weather and it's gonna be perfect weather for scoring some stuff that is priced to sale.